NYRA CEO And President, Chris Kay, Resigns (Updated)

One of New York’s most prominent horse-racing executives is out. As of today (January 23), Chris Kay, who was the CEO and President of the New York Racing Association (NYRA), has resigned, effective immediately.

NYRA did not immediately respond to a request for further information by saratoga living.

Per DRF, who cited multiple sources, NYRA’s board “asked for Kay’s resignation after it learned that Kay had used NYRA employees to do private work for him at the house he owns in Saratoga, considered a breach of company policy.”

Per a release posted on NYRA’s website, David O’Rourke, NYRA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, has been named interim CEO. O’Rourke was hired by NYRA in 2008, first as Director of Financial Planning. Since 2011, O’Rourke has been responsible for NYRA’s business development strategy, which includes areas such as industry relations, simulcast markets and contracts, television and advance-deposit wagering (ADW) operations.

Kay first took on the role of President and CEO in 2013, and under his direction, helped NYRA improve the quality and safety of racing operations, enhanced the overall guest experience and was returned to private control.

Kay also played an integral role in the development and modernization of Saratoga Race Course. Kay told saratoga living in 2018 that “Saratoga is the jewel of horse racing in America. This is hallowed ground—those are not just words. We’ve dedicated a great deal of investment to enhance the experience [at the track].”


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